The prevailing wisdom tells us that when we face a huge task or obstacle or project, we are supposed to break it down into manageable pieces and have at it. You can do almost anything is it doesn't look and feel so intimidating! A version of this advice is on the cover of every single women's magazine on newsstands every single month.
I guess I misinterpreted the advice. I thought it was related to things like cleaning out your dresser drawers or straightening up your file cabinet. Wrong. Given the horrible financial climate that pervades nearly every aspect of our lives, I guess it was inevitable that someone, somewhere took this advice and applied it to - you guessed it - spending money you may not have, but feeling okay about it.
I couldn't believe it but I just watched a General Motors commercial about - guess what? - financing your new car! Just like Ford, you can pay it off in just SIX SHORT YEARS. But here's their twist: why think about this in something as Pre-TARP-like as "monthly car payments." No, that's way too much money or debt to contemplate. It may make the payments look unaffordable, even to the most financially illiterate among us.
So back to the old wisdom: break it down. Break that figure down from a monthly total to a much more manageable daily expenditure. Maybe that makes it all okay. According to GM, a new car will cost you only $9.63 a day. Doesn't that sound so much better than almost $300 a month???
They make it look very accessible. Instead of buying yourself lunch, buy a car! Instead of seeing a movie on your own, buy a car!
Dear God when will this stop? Our national financial future is doomed. If we need convincing that we can afford new cars by calculating what they'll cost us on a daily basis, we can't afford them.
Now. Is that so hard?